Abba Lawal Gummi
16th April 2014
When court declares capital punishment to a criminal, he or she is put to death by the State for his or her crime. The practice is not uniform across the states in the US. Some of the states do not allow capital punishment while others have the law permitting capital punishment; however, execution procedures may differ. As of May 2013, the District of Columbia and 18 other States have abolished the capital punishment for any kind of crime whatsoever. States employ different methods of execution such as lethal injection or gas, electrocution, firing squad, hanging in executing the criminal. I, for one, I’m not in favor of capital punishment and strongly oppose this law of land for various reasons. The first and foremost is capital punishment does not serve the purpose for which it was made out to be. It has failed to work as a deterrent at all. Radelet and LaCock (2009) show in their research that capital punishment has failed to act as deterrent for hard core criminals. Surprisingly, police officers are at more risk in the region that supports capital punishment. California, Texas and Florida support capital punishment; however, between 1989 and 1998, the largest number of cases of felonious killing of law enforcement officers occurred in these states. And the Northeast region where capital punishment is not legislated; the numbers of police officers killed remained at its lowest (Deterrence).
1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
South 32 31 31 29 28 31 24 32 24 32 29
West 9 9 9 7 13 11 18 23 6 15 14
Northeast 9 7 7 7 8 9 12 8 10 7 3
Midwest 8 14 14 20 8 11 16 8 15 11 10
Moreover, the states that do not exercise death penalty show consistently lower murder rates.
The following table demonstrates the difference in murder rates per 100,000 between two kinds of states.
2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997
Murder Rate in Death Penalty States 5.9 5.87 5.71 5.91 5.82 5.82 5.7 5.86 6.51 7.09
Murder Rate in Non-death Penalty States 4.22 4.03 4.02 4.1 4.27 4.25 4.25 4.59 4.61 5.00
From the above table, it is evident that murder rates are consistently more in states where death penalty is applicable; in contrast, non-death penalty states show consistently lower murder rates.
The other strong reason to oppose capital punishment is that it has become an instrument to foster racial discrimination. The crux of the matter is that those who murder whites have more chances of capital punishment than those who murder black. In one of the study in the State of California, it has revealed that ethnicity, race, victim and community diversity are the deciding factors in awarding death sentence. Some of the facts from the report can be described as per the following. As such, among all murders,...